Job Opportunity | Festival Publicist - Calgary International Film Festival

Date: Mar 9, 2020

Deadline: Apr 6, 2020 - 11:45 pm

Job Opportunity | Festival Publicist - Calgary International Film Festival

The qualified and innovative PR agency or individual will work with the CIFF team to develop and execute a public relations strategy for the 2020 Calgary International Film Festival that fits into the organization’s overall strategic plan. The scope of work, as it relates to the Festival, its programming and any relevant new initiatives, will include: developing key messaging, generating media coverage from local and national press outlets and identifying additional opportunities for increased awareness among potential attendees.

Responsibilities and Deliverables:

  • Produce the Festival Media Launch and other media conferences 
  • Create a public relations plan with key messages for promotion of the festival, films, guests and initiatives that also includes identifying:
    • opportunities within their own network to strengthen the Festival initiatives and promotion
    • potential local influencers with strong brand alignment who can participate in Festival promotions
  • Pitch local and national media outlets and secure coverage for:
    • Interviews with CIFF’s Executive Director, Artistic Director and select programmers
    • Interviews with filmmakers and talent for individual films, including profiles and advance reviews for niche media 
  • Create and distribute a general festival media kit, including festival backgrounder, tip sheet, etc. and create and issue press releases and media advisories as they relate to announcements about programming, guests in attendance and Festival initiatives
  • Send out screener links when necessary for media distribution in consultation with Artistic Department
  • Create & manage the media accreditation process, and collaborate with box office to ensure accredited media receive their passes and/or tickets
  • Invite key arts and entertainment media to Festival events
  • Coordinate all red carpets including, but not limited to, galas and events with high- profile guests/world premieres and the associated media interactions (carpet schedule, setup, press check in, carpet walker wrangling, coordinating cameras and on-spot interviews) 
  • Media coverage report containing all press clippings, broadcast interview clips, web links to coverage, and coverage statistics, and following up with filmmakers post-festival 
  • Arrange required transport to in-studio media interviews with the Guest Relations Manager & Fleet Coordinator, and accompany interviewees as required 
  • Maintain an up-to-date and comprehensive media contact list 
  • Actively participate and contribute in meetings and brainstorming sessions with Artistic and Marketing departments.


  • Outstanding collaborator and team player 
  • At least four years of professional experience in media relations (additional marketing experience also an asset) 
  • Experience with media events such as press conferences, launches and red carpets 
  • Established working relationships and familiarity with local and national media outlets 
  • Proven experience organizing and directing volunteers
  • The ability to plan innovative media relations strategies, and to quickly adapt those strategies in response to other current events and media interest.
  • The ability to learn quickly, especially as regards the festival’s programming and operations, so as to be an effective representative to the media 
  • Excellent writing, editing and proofreading skills 
  • Strong oral communication and interpersonal skills
  • The ability to work calmly and excel under tight deadlines 
  • Adaptable to a flexible work schedule, including some evenings and weekends, especially during the festival.
  • High levels of strategic thinking as well as innovative approaches to generating press coverage.

Late April 2020: Selection of Festival Publicist
May 2020: Briefing of Publicist and Development of 2020 Festival Strategy
June: Approval of PR Strategy
July: Preliminary Strategy Begins, First Programming Announcements
Late August/Early September 2020: Full Festival Program is Announced
September 24 - October 4, 2020: Calgary International Film Festival
October 15 2020: Reporting Due
Note: the busiest period of this contract will occur in August & September with full and flexible availability expected from the chosen individual or agency.

To Apply
Email all application components in a single document or drive/dropbox folder to Please use “Publicity” as the email subject line. We thank everyone who applies for their interest, but only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls, please. Only applications that demonstrate high levels of strategic thinking as well as innovative approaches to generating press coverage will be considered.

The application must include the following:

  • Cover letter (which includes a description of work methods and qualifications)
  • Resume, for individual applications 
  • Samples of previous publicity campaigns: i) past media release, ii) past media pitch and iii) 3 clippings resulting from publicity efforts
  • References to be made available upon request only. 

 Applications are open until Monday April 6, 2020.